This site started out as a zine (small independent publication) series which morphed into a website/blog and then spun off into a book – Disability Politics and Theory.
The website title is a riff on “if I can’t dance it ain’t my revolution” which is a common radical phrase which is commonly attributed to Emma Goldman. She never actually said this but it was similar to a really long thing that she said and it fit on a T-shirt.
Disabled people are actively excluded from radical politics. We are ignored and, on occasion, tokenized. Some people on the left consider us lumpen proletariat, some give us a seat at the table in a building with a broken elevator, but rarely are we included, valued, and respected.
“If I can’t dance it ain’t my revolution” is as true today as it ever was. If you can’t dance, you aren’t allowed to participate equally in revolutionary struggle. If you dance cautiously because you are in pain, or “strangely” it isn’t your revolution. If you aren’t dancing because you have been forcibly restrained it isn’t your revolution. If you dance alone because you have been excluded from society because you have an intellectual disability, are psychiatrised, deaf or physically disabled it isn’t your revolution. If you don’t dance you aren’t allowed to participate equally in the struggle, it isn’t your revolution. If you don’t fight, if you don’t organize, it won’t be your revolution and changes implemented will not reflect the diverse needs and perspectives of disabled people.
We all dance in our own ways. We all fight in our own ways. We need to create the space for that to be recognized and we need to fight for change together.